The Cost of a Townhouse/condo French Drain system

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

When having a French Drain installed for your condo or townhouse, how fast you want your space to be dry, and how much you want to spend on the French Drain installation, are determined by the French Drain system layout. While most types of drainage systems will eventually dry up your yard, the more pipe your system has, the faster your yard will dry.


Baughman- tile- and- round- rock- in-French-Drain

Table of contents: 

  • What determines the design of your French Drain?
  • Different layouts, how much they cost and what is included
  • Factors that can increase and decrease the cost of a French Drain for a Strata company


What determines the design of your French Drain?


To be able to design a system that is going to work for you strata complex, the first step is determining how quickly residents want to use their yard after a rainfall, and how much water the French Drain is responsible to get rid of. The more drainage pipe that is laid in the ground, the faster your yard will dry.

Other factors that impact the speed of a French Drain system are if your complex has downspouts, gutters and a perimeter drain, what type of material is used to backfill the trench, and where the water that is in your trench ends up. This is discussed in detail here.




French- Drain -Drainage -pipe-baughman-tile

Cost of each layout, and what is included

Each homeowner or strata complex that has a French Drain installed is going to need a different type of system, so it can be hard to say how much a system costs due to so many varying factors. To give you an idea of how linear feet changes the size and price of a system, here are three examples of French drains being installed in the same yard, using the exact same materials. The more pipe that is installed, the greater the cost of the French drain will be due to labor and supplies. The plus side to this increase of pipe is that your system will dry your yard out faster after a rain event.



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French- Drain- layout -design- 2
French- Drain- design- layout- 3

For a strata building, you are probably having closer to 1000 ft of pipe being placed in many areas. This means that your strata French Drain system could cost $40,000 or $80,000. Again, the price of a system is based on how you design it! This is good news for whoever is in charge of your strata’s contingency fund, because you can design a system that will work for your space, while being able to stay within your allotted budget. Keep in mind, sometimes you will have to sacrifice one or the other depending on the needs of your residents. Luckily, you can work with your contractor to find a solution for your drainage problems, because, any layout and design for a French Drain is better than not having one installed.

Factors that can increase and decrease the cost of a French Drain for a Strata company

Factors that can increase the cost of a French Drain system instal

  • Putting down temporary plywood roads to protect surfaces from machinery
  • Tight spaces that do not allow excavators, loaders and other machinery (resulting in the use of wheelbarrows, shovels, and hand digging)
  • Obstacles that get in the way of the project (fences, trees, buildings)
  • Disposal of materials (soil, old pipe etc.) and the amount of time driving and hauling these materials.
  • Having to add a Sump system with electric pumps
  • Length of distance to discharge station
  • Tree roots (system may need extra pipe placed so that roots do not breach the pipe)
  • Marking the area for utilities (Private utility contractor should be utilized when BC 1 call lists utilities in the area)
  • What fabric, gravel and pipe are used in the system
  • Size and length of the system

Factors that can decrease the cost of a French Drain system instal

  • New construction with no new landscaped areas
  • Open site that allows machinery full access
  • Onsite place to dispose of soil

Before getting a French Drain installed, really think about how much water the system is going to have to get rid of, and how quickly residents of your strata complex want their yard to be dry. These will help guide you in how you want your system designed, and will determine the price of your system.

If you are ready to solve your Strata complex’s water issues now click here!

Or, educate yourself on How long a French Drain system for your strata townhouse or condo will last to see which French Drain system is right for you and your complex.